R support to expand flexibility of Kognitio offerings

It was recently confirmed by Kognitio that its solutions will now support the R statistical computing language. As part of this, users will be offered the ability to parallelize R queries in order to take full advantage of the Kognitio Analytical Platform's massively parallel in-memory processing capabilities.

The support is the first implementation of functionalities that allow the invocation of any programming language that can run under Linux. As a result, the flexibility of the Kognitio Analytical Platform will be greatly expanded, enabling it to support queries in multiple languages.

One organization that has been studying the  implications of the support for R is 451 Research. Analyst at the company Matt Aslett observed in a new report there are several features offered by Kognitio's offering that enable it to stand out from its rivals.

This will be of great interest to many data scientists and analysts, as these professionals are increasingly adopting R and, as a result, will be looking for tools that can cope with this. Mr Aslett noted that while many providers now offer support for R, what makes Kognitio stand out is its ability to utilize the massively parallel in-memory processing capabilities that are unique to Kognitio's analytical platform.

He said: "The introduction of the ability to parallelize R queries gives Kognitio further differentiation and should strengthen its claim to act as a specialist in-memory analytic platform that complements existing data warehousing and Hadoop deployments."

The analyst also observed Kognitio is in a great position to make an impact in the data analytics market in the coming years, as its product offerings are uniquely positioned to take full advantage of the latest industry trends.

In particular, increasing interest in in-memory data processing, as well as processing and analytics as a service, fit well into Kognitio's capabilities, which Mr Aslett stated means the company is showing strong growth. The introduction of support for the R statistical computing language will only help this.

This capability will be delivered as part of version 8 of the Kognitio Analytical Platform, which is set for general availability in June. This will enable users of the Kognitio Console to create external scripts using SQL commands to select data and manage data flows and aggregations. 

Data analysts will also be able to embed R queries that can be run against the massively parallel in-memory database, with one R instance per CPU core. The results can then be combined into a single report view for use by SQL analysts to give them a clear, much more detailed picture of their data in order to aid with decision-making.

However, support for R is only the start for users of the Kognitio Analytical Platform. The new external scripting functionality included with the offerings is a framework that enables companies to run any programming language for which there is a Linux interpreter within the Kognitio Analytical Platform.

Kognitio also has a newly-formed data science group that is exploring the potential for queries written in languages such as Perl, Python and Java and is likely to see great demand for these capabilities.

Already, it has reported one large retailer has shown an interest in using the new external scripting functionality to parallelize forecasting across hundreds of thousands of product lines. 

As big data analytics becomes an essential part of many organizations' operations in the years to come, tools such as this that can make the processes faster and simpler are set to be in huge demand. Other potential use cases for the Kognitio Analytical Platform's new capabilities include risk analytics.

Mr Aslett observed the interest in data analytics and in-memory processing capabilities has been very good for Kognitio, which has grown significantly since 451 Research last looked at the company.

Kognitio now reports bookings growth of 99 percent for the 2013 fiscal year, as well as an increase of 146 percent in contracts for its Kognitio cloud service and a 283 percent rise in software licensing deals.

Mr Aslett also noted when analyzing the opportunities for Kognitio: "Falling memory prices and increased acceptance of cloud computing are both playing into the hands of Kognitio and its parallelization capabilities could further its differentiation."

He added that increased interest in in-memory processing is helping raise the company's profile in the data analytics space, which bodes well for its future.